Children find shared parenting arrangements traumatic although it might be in some ways beneficial to separated parents.
A new research shows that infants under two who spend one night a week or more away from their primary carer show significantly more signs of irritability and separation anxiety, are more fretful, tearful and difficult to soothe than other babies.
Children aged two and three show signs of higher anxiety, eating disturbances and aggressive behaviour.
They show less persistence in tasks, and more problematic behaviour such as crying or hanging on to the main carer.
"We don't want to give the impression that overnight care is an absolute no-no for children under four. If an occasional overnight stay makes the primary carer a better parent it's probably a good thing," The Age quoted Jennifer McIntosh, an associate professor in psychology at La Trobe University, as saying.